Integral Psychotherapy -

Sports and Arts Performance

All performance -- whether in sports, the creative arts, academic schools, or the workplace -- depends on skills that are learned formally and then, most importantly, integrated into action through practice that transcend techniques.   Integrating knowledge and techniques requires mental and physical anchors.

Achieving higher levels of achievement depend on having a quiet mind that is always aware of what is happening in the present moment without any distraction from elsewhere in the environment.  The story about the Zen Archer who focuses on the arrow and not on the warfare surrounding him is about the skill of concentration.  Not just warriors but dancers, football players, and scholars need a silent observing mental process that allows for responses in the moment that are focused and non-reactive.  A quiet mind is one that is maintains a peaceful quality, regardless of surrounding chaos.

As with pain management (see webpage), optimal performance may be achieved through the use of meditative techniques, hypnosis, and EMDR:

- MEDITATIVE TECHNIQUES allow one to achieve states of internal silence where there is no reactivity coming from the past, curious observation of the present, and the ability to match what is happening to the goal at hand.  Being in the present, which occurs within the internal silence, for example permits one to see the ball, feel the golf club, or throw the ball in a completely focused manner.  It permits the performer to fully and skillfully feel emotions evoked by the art in the moment.

-HYPNOSIS assists the athlete or artist to establish the necessary physical and psychological anchors to lock themselves  clearly and firmly in their minds so their actions become natural and automatic.   Knowing that the foot has the right feel, the arm has the correct position and tension, or the fingers have the correct feeling against the keyboard can come out of hypnosis as it helps to lock in these physical techniques and to rehearse these mentally  It then allows the mind to use what is learned automatically whenever the moment requires their use.  For the performing artist hypnosis allows for clearer feeling of the emotions that arise in performing a piece and channeling them appropriately to achieve the most expressive performance they are capable of.

-- EMDR permits  mental rehearsal of the techniques and noting any psychological or emotional blockages that emerge in the moment.  For a singer, it would allow for the appropriate merger of breath, vocal timbre, and verbal expression that would meld both technique and emotions which have been freed by EMDR.  For the athlete, EMDR allows the rehearsal of specific movements as well as eliminate any psychological blockages to permit the most competent execution of the sport.